In Washington State, Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce New Gun-Control Law

In Washington State, Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce New Gun-Control Law

Gun Rights

It is the most wide-reaching gun control law passed anywhere in the U.S. since a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., with a semiautomatic rifle one year ago this week , killing 17 people. At least 16 elected sheriffs, primarily from rural, conservative counties that voted against the measure, say they won’t enforce the law because they believe it is unconstitutional. Most have been vague about which parts they won’t impose. The gun-control law is being challenged in court by the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association, who argue that some of the new regulations deny people their constitutional right to bear arms. The recently filed suit is currently pending. “I’m morally opposed to any law that’s really against our Second Amendment rights,” said Brad Manke, sheriff of Stevens County in northeast Washington, where Initiative 1639 received only 27% support. “It’s difficult to have laws forced upon you.” Sheriffs in the rest of Washington’s 39 counties, as well as the vast majority of the state’s 200-plus police chiefs, haven’t publicly stated that they plan to defy the new law. In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, student survivors have started a movement for greater gun control. Two students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School explain how social media, crowdfunding and political activism have helped spread their message. Photo: Getty Images Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent a letter Tuesday to the state’s […]

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